Attari Sandwich Shop: Causing Persian Cravings in Westwood

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Attari is a family business that's distinguished itself for Persian sandwiches.

Parvin Sadaghiani opened the first Persian convenience store in an area of Westwood that’s now populated by so many Iranian immigrants that it’s alternately known as Little Tehran or Tehrangeles. In the early days, Parvin sold a hodge-podge that included sandwiches and live birds. In Farsi, an Attari is traditionally an herb and tea shop. A year and a half ago, daughter in law Ayla Heravi joined the family business. Due to her influence, Attari Sandwich Shop is now open later and serves kebabs. When asked to differentiate Attari from other Persian restaurants in town, Ayla said, “It doesn’t taste like restaurant food, it tastes like your mom made it.” In her case, that’s especially true. As always, Parvin makes everything from family recipes.

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The entrance was originally on Westwood Boulevard, but the new building’s owner remodeled. Attari Sandwich Shop is now tucked away on a side street, past a gateway to the tree-lined patio.

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Ash ($4.50) is a barley based stew that’s staggeringly delicious, especially considering it’s vegetarian. Ayla said, “It’s not thin, so we don’t call it soup.” Ash contains fresh herbs, white and pinto beans. They drizzle a tangy derivative of yogurt called kashk on top, joining twin pools of grilled mint oil and caramelized grilled onions.

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Kashk-e-Bademjan ($6.99) is a dish of phenomenal roasted eggplant decorated with the same toppings as Ash. The eggplant was so tender it was spreadable on accompanying slabs of crusty French bread.

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Kuku ($5.99) is another Attari bestseller. Ayla said, “Kuku is like a quiche. Kuku sabzi is all herbs, completely vegetarian, with egg as a binder. It’s healthy, with fluffy consistency.” There’s also a potato version, but I opted for the original, a generous portion sandwiched with tomato and lettuce.

As for other Attari specialties, Ayla said, “We do a beef tongue sandwich that people drive from Orange County for.” Kebabs are served during the week after 4 o’clock. Instead of serving the Koobideh (ground beef), Barg (filet mignon) and Cornish game hen with rice, they partner the meats with sangak bread, a Persian flatbread that’s delivered to Attari on a daily basis. Other accompaniments are mint, basil, tarragon, radishes, onions and grilled tomatoes.

Ayla said, “The only things we don’t make in house is the dessert. All the baklavas and pastries are delivered daily.” However, saffron rice pudding is made in-house.

The family-run sandwich shop offers much more than the name lets on, in terms of both flavor and variety. Attari’s patio is one of the most inviting in town, and the food hearty, satisfying and absolutely delicious.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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